Boycotts An Effective Peaceful Protest?

What is a Boycott?

A boycott is a form of non-violent protest where a group of people voluntarily stop buying, using, or dealing with a group or organization. The goal of a boycott is to inflict some sort of economic loss on said group or organization. Also, boycotters are trying to make said group or organization lose popularity.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

Rosa Parks on a Montgomery Bus

In the South during the Civil Rights Movement, bus systems for blacks were unjust. Black people would have to go to the front of the bus, pay their fee, get off the bus, walk to the back, and get on through the back door. Many times, the driver would take their money and leave without the person on the bus. Local conflicts and pent up anger sparked a change. One Monday, a group of blacks decided to boycott the bus system. They spread the word throughout the city. On that day, there were only 8 black passengers the whole day in the bus system. At a meeting later that night, the black people of Montgomery decided to keep this boycott going and see where it could take them.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. speaking on the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a key figure in the civil rights movement. King was a reverend at a Montgomery church, and spoke against racial discrimination. He led many groups and speeches against black oppression, and helped progress black people throughout the country.

Langston Hughes poem, Dream Deferred, analyzes the idea that a dream is not accomplished without taking action.

Browder Vs. Gayle

The resolution of the Browder v. Gayle case on the front cover of the Alabama Journal

Browder v. Gayle was a very important civil rights case. This case was inspired by the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Fred Gray, a local Montgomery lawyer, brought this case to a federal court. This case was brought about to desegregate Mintgomery buses. The case got the name from one of the plaintiffs, Aurelia Browder, and the Montgomery mayor, W.A. Gayle. This ended up desegregating buses in Montgomery, helping blacks gain more rights.

Are Boycotts an Effective Form of Non-Violent Protest?

I'd say that yes, boycotts are an effective form of protest. Historically, boycotts have resolved many issues that otherwise most likely not have been solved with violence, like the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Non-violent protests like these can help groups in the future resolve issues without hurting anybody.

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